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MS loses Front Page trademark fight

Glasgow web firm keeps name

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Glasgow Web designers Front Page Design have defeated Microsoft in a legal battle to register the firm's name as a trademark.

After a five-year David vs Goliath-style legal battle, the Scottish firm won its case in a hearing before the Trade Mark Registry in London last Thursday, September 6.

Microsoft objected to Front Page Design using its name for any activities connected with Web site design. But the hearing has ruled that the Glasgow firm had established a right to use the name (it applied for a trademark in 1995) before Microsoft introduced its Web site design software in the UK.

Front Page Design won the right to continue using its name and to protect it by law. It was awarded £1,500 costs, which fail to cover legal expenses of £25,000. The Web site of the firm was not part of the case.

Ian McMillan, managing director of Front Page Design, said the case was well worth fighting despite being an "unwelcome distraction" in the run of business of the firm, which employs 15 people.

Microsoft is expected to appeal against the findings of the Trade Mark Registry but costs for this will not be applied against the design firm, whatever happens. ®

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